GRE Exam Syllabus 2024 – Section-Wise, Exam Pattern & Tips to Prepare

10 April, 2024
parthiva mewawala

GRE Exam (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized online exam required for most graduate schools abroad when applying for master’s or doctoral degrees. If the aspirant selects a slot 45 days before the exam, they can write the GRE anytime during the year. The GRE is created and supervised by Educational Testing Service (ETS) to check the candidates’ aptitude for quantitative reasoning, Analytical Writing, and verbal reasoning. The GRE exam  syllabus includes quantitative reasoning, Analytical Writing, and verbal reasoning. Approximately 130-170 marks are awarded for the quantitative and verbal sections, with one mark increment for each correct response. The analytical Writing is scored between 0-6 with intervals of 0-5 marks. The total test takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes.


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The GRE Exam Syllabus 

There are three sections of the GRE Exam Syllabus, Analytical Writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. 

Below are the three sections of the GRE Syllabus in detail: 

Analytical Writing: 

This section has two types of questions, analyze an issue and an argument. This section aims to test the candidate’s ability to think critically and articulate their ideas clearly and concisely.


  1. Analyze an issue: In this question, the applicant is asked to elaborate on why they have taken a specific position on a topic.
  2. Analyze an argument: In this type of section, the candidate is asked to assess the position taken by the author. This tests the logical thinking ability of the candidate. 

Quantitative Reasoning: 

This section tests the high school aptitude of the candidate. The candidate is allowed to make use of the on-screen calculator available. 

Below are the topics of the quantitative reasoning section: 

  1. Arithmetic: The topics of the arithmetic section are:
    Percent, Ratio, Rate, Sequence, Factorization, Decimal Representations
  2. Algebra:  The topics of the algebra section are:
    Intercept, Slopes, Exponents, Algebraic Expressions, Relations and Functions, Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Coordinate Geometry and Graphs.
  3. Geometry: The topics of the geometry section are:
    Triangles, circles, cylinders, types of triangles, polygons, quadrilateral, area, concurrent and similar figures, volume, perimeter, and Pythagoras theorem.
  4. Data Analysis: The topics covered in the data analysis section are:
    Mode, mean, median, quartiles and percentiles, standard deviation, bar, line, pie graphs, conditional probability, probability, random variables and permutations and combinations. 


Verbal Reasoning:

Most GRE test takers find the verbal section of the GRE Exam Syllabus challenging. The verbal section has three types of questions: reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence.

  1. Reading Comprehension: 

The reading comprehension part consists of passages and questions that follow each passage. The difficulty level varies. There is a predictive format to the passages. As part of reading comprehension, aspirants must use critical reasoning. Based on the information presented in the passage, this provides an argument and a logical question. Critical reasoning tests the aspirant’s understanding and reasoning skills.

2. Text Completion: 

This type of paragraph has one to three blanks. Choose one of the options to fill in the blanks. You will need a good understanding of vocabulary to answer this question. After years of reading and using the language, this comes naturally. 

3. Sentence Equivalence: 

The new format of the question is sentence equivalence. There is one blank in this type of sentence. There are six options available to the candidate. Whenever one chooses a word and uses it in both sentences, the meaning of both sentences should be the same. You also require a good vocabulary. 

Eligibility Criteria for GRE Examination 

GRE scores are accepted by most renowned MS colleges worldwide, and there are no suitable eligibility criteria for taking the GRE. The GRE General Test is required for students planning to pursue a master’s degree, a specialized master’s degree, or a doctoral degree. 
GRE Exam scores and academic records, fellowship panels, and recommendation letters may be accepted.

GRE Exam Syllabus – Paper Pattern 

Analytic Writing

Time: 2 Essays – 30 minutes each 

Includes: In the analytical writing section, there are two types of essays issue and argumentative essay. 2 or 2 readers will evaluate the candidates. This section has no wrong answers.

Verbal Reasoning 

Time: 2 Sections each with 20 questions, 30 Minutes for each section

Includes: Verbal reasoning includes reading comprehension passages, sentence completions, and equivalence questions. The questions will have either single or multiple answers. Meanwhile, the text completion question will have up to three blanks. 

Quantitative Reasoning

Time: 2 sections each with 20 questions, 35 minutes for each section 

Includes: Each quantitative section contains about eight quantitative comparison questions, nine problem-solving questions, and 3 data interpretation questions.

Unscored Section 

Includes: This section aims to see if there is a possibility of adding new sections at the time of the test. This section does not count toward the test scores and will either contain a math or verbal test. 

Read more: GRE New Pattern – All You Need To Know About The GRE Pattern Change

Structure of the GRE exam 

Below is the structure and pattern of the GRE Exam: 

1. Verbal Reasoning: 

This section examines a candidate’s ability to analyze and evaluate written material. It also identifies relationships between words and concepts and explores relationships among sentences.

2. Quantitative Reasoning: 

This section evaluates the aspirant’s problem-solving skills. They also test concepts like basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.


3. Analytical Writing: 

Analytical Writing testWritingandidate’s ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and assertively.

Strategies and Tips to Prepare for the GRE Exam Syllabus 

  1. Acquaint yourself with the test content: Before attempting the exam, get acquainted with the content of each of the measures, the type of material on which you will be tested, and question types.
  2. Answer every question: Your scores are determined by how many questions you answer correctly in verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. Answer every question to increase your scores in both the quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning sections.
  3. Pay close attention to the time: Keep track of the time: Work quickly, and don’t be careless. Spending time thinking about individual questions you find difficult or unfamiliar is unnecessary.
  4. Use the mark and review feature: When attempting the GRE, candidates can skip questions they find difficult to answer. They can use the mark and review feature of the testing software to mark questions they want to revisit during the time allotted for that section.
  5. Don’t take unscheduled breaks: The third test section has a 10-minute break, and the other test sections have a 1-minute break. During each scheduled break, you might want to request additional scratch paper. If you take an unscheduled break, the section time will not stop. Once the test has begun, you should not interrupt it. 

The most recommended books for the GRE syllabus

  1. Kaplan GRE Prep Plus 
  2. TPB GRE Prep Review Book 
  3. The Princeton Review GRE Premium Prep 
  4. The Official Guide to the GRE General Test- ETS 
  5. Official Prep Plus 2023- Kaplan 
  6. Official GRE Value Combo- ETS 
  7. Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Question, Second Edition, Volume 1- ETS 
  8. Essential Words for the GRE- Barron 
  9. Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions- ETS 
  10. GRE Test Prep- Barron 

Read more: GRE Preparation 2024 – Tips, Strategy, Practice Test & Books

FAQs on GRE Syllabus 

1. What are the sections of the GRE Syllabus? 

The GRE Exam is divided into three sections: Analytical Writing, reasoning, and verbal reasoning. Multiple topics in each of these categories are tested throughout the test.


2. Is the GRE Exam Syllabus similar to the SAT exam? 

It is not. The SAT is for undergrad admissions, while the GRE is for postgraduates.


3. What is included in the Math syllabus for the GRE? 

The Maths syllabus for GRE comprises the following:

  • Calculus: 50%. 
  • Algebra: 25%
  • Additional Topics; 25%

4. How should I complete the GRE exam syllabus and pattern?

The candidates planning on appearing for the GRE can check the website for the latest GRE pattern and syllabus.

5. How long does it take to complete the GRE syllabus? 

The duration to complete the GRE syllabus depends on the retaining capacity of the candidate. A quick learner will need less time to prepare than a slow learner.


6. Is it possible to prepare for the GRE in a month? 

The usual advice for candidates is to prepare well for the GRE before booking a GRE test slot. So, a month can be enough, but only if you’ve taken the GRE before.

7. Is it possible to prepare for the GRE on my own? 

Yes. The candidates intending to take the GRE independently can achieve qualifying scores or higher by dedicating themselves to their cause and relying on official sources such as GRE websites or preparatory guides.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide To GRE: Registration, Eligibility, Fees, And Test Structure Explained